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Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 24, 2012 7:47am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Serious question for musically inclined sorts...DEAD/nonDEAD

I'll keep it short: I was prompted by SB's CREAM post to track down some reviews, and I must admit, somewhat surprised to find some negativity, but here's the one that I need some input on:

"...Technique oblivious to any content: That's what Cream live were all about. Never mind that their fabled improvisations consisted of playing around one chord (or, often, one note) for 20 minutes — they did better than anyone else."

Trust that it went on to provide a scathing review, but my point is the following: I get that CREAM, like the DEAD, could be viewed as repetitive--boring--during jams, but this notion of "one note/one chord" is beyond me...I don't get what this folks are driving at...

Seriously--I have NO musical knowledge, but certainly don't imagine there's any sort of relationship between "more notes = better" or "more chords = better", right?

The other thing is that I will never forget a great "discussion" about the DEAD with at the time a CREAM fan, and he kept saying "Jerry just plays one chord...maybe 2...", but here's this critic saying the same of CREAM.

So, are there really bands that we all say "are better because they "use" more chords/notes"? Or is this just a critic's way of saying DEAD/CREAM jams are boring because they are repetitive?

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Poster: unclejohn52 Date: Mar 24, 2012 4:18pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Serious question for musically inclined sorts...DEAD/nonDEAD

I realize I'm late to the party here...

Totally agree with you that there's no relationship between "more notes = better" or "more chords = better" - any number of performers can make a few chords go a long way, like Dylan, Neil Young or Tom Waits. Simplicity can be great, an end unto itself. Complexity is a word with meanings - even a strand of 12 tones can be complex, or compexity can be Frank Zappa.

This critic had a real bee in his bonnet over bands who were glorified too much in the rock press. With a superband like Cream, of all-star caliber, he had a lot to pick on. If rock solos are considered ego trips, then this critic just wanted to burst their bubble.

My contention with your Cream fan critical of Jerry, is that he could play a few notes with great emotional content... and also had incredible knowledge of the fretboard, playing any number of chords and positions. In later years he had more fallback, comfortable spots to play, but his use of the instrument was wide-ranging, melodic, soulful, emotional, and very MUSICAL. Someone making that comment has not listened very much to the music that poured out. Yeah, he got a lot of mileage out of some vamps around 2-3 chords, but I'll take JG over say, Trey A. any day.

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Poster: Dudley Dead Date: Mar 24, 2012 8:08am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Serious question for musically inclined sorts...DEAD/nonDEAD

Like you I am a musical illiterate . But from what I have gathered though the years, is this kind of criticism can come from the musically informed, or it can come from the " if you can't say it in 4 minuets..." crowd . In both cases they seen to not "get it ". Clapton was/is a great Blues player, not a jazz guy , so with the longer things with Cream, his limits as a musician are more apparent , to those whom worry about these things . I recall John McLaughlin not being that impressed with Hendrix ("He just a Blues player"), which again might be true , but sort of misses the point . The Dead at the time of Cream, were limited in their improvisational vocabulary, and none had the pure chop of Bruce, Baker, Clapton , but , as been mentioned a while ago , the Dead were more a group unit , that several soloists , and I have musician friends who can listen to the Dead, but con no longer enjoy Cream's longer songs . Barbarian that I am, I still LOVE this shit ! Give me that live NSU any day !
Hopefully, some of our more musically conversant folks will chime in .

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Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 24, 2012 8:32am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Serious question for musically inclined sorts...DEAD/nonDEAD

RE: musically informed; the above review was from a RolStone writer, and BAND member...acclaimed sort that certainly knows of what he speaks, it seems to me. Of course, might also be a bit of "sour grapes" syndrome.

Thx, DD.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Mar 24, 2012 5:34pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Serious question for musically inclined sorts...DEAD/nonDEAD

Garcia did not like John McLaughlin's playing. He also complained about early jazz-fusion groups like Weather Report being too technical & not doing enough true group improv.

There are definitely those who said that 'more complex is better,' especially in the '70s - the virtuoso thing was in (partly inaugurated by Cream), and prog groups like Yes were big, who never played one note when ten notes would do...
The Dead could sound like a bunch of piddlers if approached from that viewpoint. (I've seen reviews of the Mahavishnu Orchestra/Wales & Garcia shows in Jan 72 that talked about how great & accomplished McLaughlin's group was, and how amateurish & limited Garcia was in comparison.)

You mention the Dead being more limited in their improv vocabulary than Cream....but I'm not so sure.
The members of Cream had, individually, played their instruments with bands longer than anyone in the Dead had.
However, the Dead formed about a year earlier than Cream did, and not only were much more united as a group, they really worked as a unit in their jams, blending their styles & playing together.
I'm not sure the guys in Cream ever bothered to do that very much. In one sense, any comparison is a bit unfair though - Cream broke up only about a year after they started doing the really long jams, so we can only really compare them to Dead circa '67-68; when the Dead did have a more limited bag of tricks than they did later, but also approached their playing with more Cream-like aggressiveness.
Nonetheless, I think the Dead were already much more inventive & flowing in their jams than Cream were. Several people have made the point that the jam in one Cream song sounds much like the jam in another - the Dead not only had more variety (and none of the "solo spots" that filled out Cream shows), they were doing suites & medleys of tunes with different styles & moods.
Ironically, the guys in Cream probably would've heard the Dead as just being sloppy & unprofessional, as far as instrumental skill goes. The Cream lost interest & broke up so fast, they probably never considered changing their approach to improv - though they were getting sick of their own style, and have pretty much stayed away from it ever since.
I can't knock Cream too much though, since I still love their stuff.

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Poster: Dudley Dead Date: Mar 25, 2012 8:24pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Serious question for musically inclined sorts...DEAD/nonDEAD

When I mentioned the Dead in the era of Cream, being limited in their "improvisational vocabulary" I was being unclear, That point was not really meant as a comparison. That observation would true of both bands . A good jazz player would, even if they enjoyed the music , might note the limits, of the the nuts and bolts level, of these improves . But your comparisons of the two bands improve styes says it much clearer than anything I might have to have said . The Dead were just a more interesting, even within said limits , and I have clocked in a few million hours listening to this stuff and loving it . But the punch and power, of the Cream, and the pure badassery of Clapton's playing with them, is something I enjoy too .

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Poster: high flow Date: Mar 24, 2012 8:49am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Serious question for musically inclined sorts...DEAD/nonDEAD

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rs_4TQLycQI

This explains how an improvisational rock band avoid repetition. Jerry Garcia had a tremendous knack for just tweaking notes, lines and riffs which keeps the listener on his/her toes.

I really enjoyed Dave Frank's presentation of Dark Star....so did my 10 year-old daughter.

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Poster: dfrank111 Date: Mar 26, 2012 11:25pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Serious question for musically inclined sorts...DEAD/nonDEAD

Thanks HF, preciate the mention..you may enjoy 14 other classes on YT and Ustream - Hornsby, Dolphy, Bill Evans, Liberace, Tristano, Oscar Peterson, Bird, Zappa, more..all phree, no commercials:)

Blessings and stay Dead, Dave Frank

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Poster: high flow Date: Mar 27, 2012 9:30am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Serious question for musically inclined sorts...DEAD/nonDEAD

Thanks Dave. I enjoyed the Hornsby lesson as well. Very cool. The other master classes are on my "to do" list.

Keep up the good work.

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Poster: Lou Davenport Date: Mar 24, 2012 2:04pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Serious question for musically inclined sorts...DEAD/nonDEAD

Hey, Tell! Here are some undigested thoughts on that.

First and foremost, the number of chords is kind of irrelevant IMO. Dark Star is two, I think (and that's before they go off into spaceland), but does that in any way express the number of melodic and rhythmic things going on, or the interplay between the musicians? I love the jams out of Alligator (up to the BYG part) in part because they're jamming ON NOTHING AT ALL! There's no musical content besides what they happen to come up with in the moment. There's a key signature, so I guess there's one chord, but there certainly isn't a chord progression. Someone who's looking for a song structure is bound to find that frustrating, but they've simply wandered into the wrong room.

Second, I haven't listened to much live Cream (the two sides on Wheels of Fire and a bit else), but what I've listened to doesn't interest me much. What interest I have found in their live music comes from Bruce and Baker. I've always thought Clapton was way over-rated, which is really just a way of saying that what he plays doesn't interest me personally. I love Bruce's vocals, bass playing, and song-writing, but it's always been his studio work that interests me. I like Baker's double-bass-drum power work, but I think he goes on longer than he really should--both live and on Ginger Baker's Air Force.

I think comparing Jack Bruce and Phil, or Ginger Baker and Bill, is like comparing pad thai and ice cream. I like them both, but they serve different functions. That said, I do think that there's more musical content in Phil's bass playing than in Jack's, and more rhythmic content in Bill's drumming than in Ginger's; and that shows up especially in the subtle interplay of ensemble improvisation. I'd certainly find more hours a week of enjoyment out of live GD than out of the studio tracks on Disraeli Gears or Wheels of Fire--or even Songs for a Tailor--but those latter albums provide a form of pleasure all their own.

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Poster: wisconsindead Date: Mar 24, 2012 10:32am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Serious question for musically inclined sorts...DEAD/nonDEAD

your friend might have been referring to when jerry sings and plays chords with typically a simple down stroke. If you pay attention, jerry's playing is always its most simple while hes singing, he wasnt too great at doing both. But when he steps back from the mike its on.

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Poster: rdenirojb87 Date: Mar 24, 2012 8:39am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Serious question for musically inclined sorts...DEAD/nonDEAD

That is the most absurd criticism I've ever heard of Cream's music. If anything, the fact that they can take a simple 2 minute blues song with only a few chords and turn it into a mind-bending psychedelic/bluesy excursion, is a testament to their incredible abilities. I don't think it's a valid complaint at all. Jerry could also turn a simple little ditty like "I'm A Roadrunner" into a long epic piece of music. That takes a lot of skill, to keep things fresh and not repeat the same licks constantly when you stay in the same key. How somebody could criticize a musician's abilities for that is beyond me.

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Poster: Purple Gel Date: Mar 24, 2012 10:29am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Serious question for musically inclined sorts...DEAD/nonDEAD

I read a quote about this from Hornsby where he said that The Grateful Dead would play 5 notes where one would do.

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Poster: snori Date: Mar 24, 2012 9:36am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Serious question for musically inclined sorts...DEAD/nonDEAD

Funnily enough I was discussing Cream v Dead with a Cream fan last night. Both of us are open-minded so we could argue the case quite frankly. In the end it came down to this - Baker is the better drummer, Bruce shades Phil because he writes great songs and sings better (they tie for bass-playing) and Garcia has the greater background and musical influences which means he is able to take the improvisational parts of the music into different and more interesting places.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Mar 24, 2012 10:35am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Serious question for musically inclined sorts...DEAD/nonDEAD

This was the full review, by Mike Saunders, from Rolling Stone, April 28 1976, on Live Cream vol. 2:

"In their glory days of 1967-8, Cream singlehandedly spawned the whole genre of aloof heavy rock egomania, not to mention a whole school of insufferably self-centered lead rock guitarists.

Technique oblivious to any content: That's what Cream live were all about. Never mind that their fabled improvisations consisted of playing around one chord (or, often, one note) for 20 minutes — they did better than anyone else.

Well, it's here again, just as I remember it. "Deserted Cities Of The Heart," "White Room," and "Tales Of Brave Ulysses" might as well be the same song: after a half-hearted stab at a couple verses of the tune, in each case Cream goes into their characteristic one-chord solo and don't budge until the ending of the song. "Politician" demonstrates for the nth time just what an awful blues (blooze? bluze?) singer Jack Bruce was. For such reportedly speeded up guys, the tempos drag unmercifully on every song.

Side Two really brings it out front: an abysmally leaden seven-minute version of "Sunshine Of Your Love," and then, god forbid, 13:42 of "Steppin' Out" (not "Hideway," as the jacket incorrectly states). In comparison to Eric Clapton's powerful versions on both What's Shakin' and the first Bluesbreakers LP, "Steppin' Out" here is totally vacuous.

In recent years, Third Generation heavy-metal groups have gotten down to business and produced some fine heavy —metal rock. Cream were in large part an antecedent (sound-wise, at least) of the whole style, but it all seems so far in the past now — strange as it may seem, Black Sabbath's concise efficiency makes the whole Cream era look as self-indulgent and ludicrous as it indeed was.

The truly amazing thing about Cream Live Volume II is that Cream live sound every bit as boring as they did four years ago. In that sense, and in about every other possible as well, this album is a true artifact."

It kind of echoes Jon Landau's infamous review of a Cream show in Rolling Stone in 1968, which when Clapton read it, made him want to quit the band. Some quotes:

"Ginger Baker played every rock drumming break, every drumming cliché that there is... Clapton is a master of the blues clichés of the last 40 years. He knows the music of B.B.King and Albert King like the back of his hand and he didn’t play a note that wasn’t blues...
Once the improvisation began, wholly unrelated to the context that the song had set for it, indistinguishable from the improvisation that preceded it [in the previous song], the whole concept of interaction, the whole concept of a band was destroyed.
By abandoning the chord progression of the song they started out with and improvising solely around the root chord…they insure the incompatibility of the solo compared with the song. It was every man for himself and back to the cliches.
Improvisation means the creation of new musical ideas spontaneously. It does not mean stringing together pieces and phrases of already learned musical ideas. It means using these phrases as a basis for exploration and extension….Clapton’s problem is that while he has vast creative potential, at this time he hasn’t begun to fullfill it. He is a virtuoso performing other people’s ideas.
[Stepping Out] was twice as long as it should have been and was too much in the established mode of lengthy but ultimately aimless improvising. Baker’s drumming was much too busy... [Baker] is extremely repetitious, not particularly creative, and highly overactive. I found [Toad] terribly boring...
Cream have been called a jazz group. They are not, they are a blues band and a rock band… Ultimately what we heard were three virtuosos romping through every trick in the book, occasionally building it into something, occasionally missing the mark altogether, but always in a one-dimensional style that made no use of dynamics, structure, or any of the other elements of rock besides drum licks and riffs."

This post was modified by light into ashes on 2012-03-24 17:35:23

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Poster: steam locomotive Date: Mar 24, 2012 12:49pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Serious question for musically inclined sorts...DEAD/nonDEAD

I don't find anything to disagree with in that review. I remain mystified by fans who find overlap between Cream and the Dead.

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Poster: user unknown Date: Mar 24, 2012 8:26pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Serious question for musically inclined sorts...DEAD/nonDEAD

The "overlap", if any exists, would be in improvisation; and judged by a jazz POV both groups would be found wanting.

The review mentions no Cream/Dead correlation. It was simply a trashing of the original "super group" by a punk-rocking musician wannabe hack writer, who as Sir William surmised was probably immersed in a vat of "sour grapes" at both the talent and popularity of the members of Cream while his own musical endeavors languished in the depths of the undiscovered.

And the comparable review is definitely by a narrow-minded hack wearing blinders to all but that which he endorses and/or manages.

However, isn't that what all "critics" appear to be to those who disagree with their critiques. Of course if one is of he same ilk, the critic may be thought to be a genius.

This post was modified by user unknown on 2012-03-25 03:26:19

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Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 24, 2012 8:18pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Serious question for musically inclined sorts...DEAD/nonDEAD

Thx all--really appreciate the input.

Defn agree with those that note (har) that CREAM had much more "structure" and less subtle variation across jams, across years, compared with the DEAD, and other than both doing "jams", in no way meant to compare them (ie, rock bands of the 60s famous for long songs is the simple entry point for me).

I'll just add that famous quote from Mickey to Jerry at a CREAM show: "...this is the BEST fricking band in the world!" to which Jerry replied "...they are tonight...", which minimally shows they thought some about them...and in some positive fashion, minimally.

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Poster: user unknown Date: Mar 24, 2012 8:27pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Serious question for musically inclined sorts...DEAD/nonDEAD

As Fred would say, "Y'elcome."

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Poster: steam locomotive Date: Mar 24, 2012 9:21pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Serious question for musically inclined sorts...DEAD/nonDEAD

Cream comes up on this board on a semi-regular basis, hence my reference to overlap. I wasn't referring to the review per se.

Also, I was specifically referring to the Landau review. Landau is an interesting critic, having become Bruce Springsteen's manager relatively early in his career. So not only did he have an ear for talent, but was willing to put money on what he wrote.

I did think his review nailed Cream's improvisational shortcomings, i.e, that they simply play repeating patterns of musical phrases, rather than improvising melodically (and there are no real changes, so there's certainly not much going on harmonically). That's a significant difference from the Dead or the Allmans who use jams to tell a story, instead of adhering to the formula of blues cliches + chops + volume = rock and roll success.

Small wonder that Clapton didn't stick around, though I've never found Clapton a particularly compelling improviser in any format.

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Poster: user unknown Date: Mar 24, 2012 12:18pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Serious question for musically inclined sorts...DEAD/nonDEAD

this may shed some light on the peculiar POV of this writer

"Metal" Mike Saunders

Graduated from Hall High (Little Rock), 1969. Graduated from University of Texas/Austin, 1973. Served twenty-two full-time years in the accounting profession until cashing out in early 1999 ( = semi-retired, same profession, but now a gruelling schedule that ends weekly at 5pm on Wednesdays to permit proper time for #1: studying production techniques of modern teenpop recordings and #2: managing those excessive fixed-income retirement funds). Wears a one-of-a-kind Kiss Army/Christina/AC/DC backpack to punk shows. Plays/played in a punk rock band (1978 - 2000+), cussed a lot doing it. The year before (1977), played drums for Richard Meltzer (‘I'm In Love With Your Mom’). Thinks Daphne & Celeste ultimately hold more secrets vital to the future of mankind than Bob Dylan. Still a big, mean 5' 6", 132 lbs. Can and will do Eurobeat dance steps to the A*Teens and all other spiritual descendents of Betty, Veronica 'n' Jughead.

Jughead, more like Butthead...a frigging yuppie CPA Butthead

Disclaimer: I mean no offense to any "friggin yuppie CPA Butthead" who may frequent this message board. Hey, if that's who you are there's nothing wrong with that. Seriously, some of my best friends are "frigging yuppie CPA Buttheads".

This post was modified by user unknown on 2012-03-24 19:18:23

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Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 29, 2012 1:05pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Serious question for musically inclined sorts...DEAD/nonDEAD

Bill--was just re-reading to make sure I didnt miss anything here, and this is frickin funny...the "friggin yuppie CPA buttheads" comment.

Good one.

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Poster: Dudley Dead Date: Mar 25, 2012 8:54pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Serious question for musically inclined sorts...DEAD/nonDEAD

The Saunders review is one of the reasons I find so much that came from Rolling Stone, to be full of shit ...That Sunshine of Your Love is just awesomely powerful . To me he sounds like he is just being the smart-ass dick. critic . It is easier to dismiss than Landau's review .
Jon Landau has has his share of getting it wrong, or overstatements ("I saw rock & roll's future and its name is Bruce Springsteen." ), but is not an idiot . I can kind of see what he is saying, and I was not there at the concert ( I rely only on the live tracks form the issued albums ). But I would guess If I did hear the concert , I might think "yeah, you are right, but you,have to look past those quibbles. You are missing how great this is ". I think I would be more impressed .

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Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 25, 2012 10:10pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Serious question for musically inclined sorts...DEAD/nonDEAD

As I have said so often before, DD, my older brothers and friends all agreed to a person that live CREAM shows had no comparison, and they'd seen Jimi and the Who at Monterey, and everything else from 65-70...At the risk of repetition, ahem, they put Moby Grape at the top of SF bands, with Quicksilver second, but felt none of the No Cal sorts really held a candle to CREAM. I never agreed with them, of course, and only became a CREAM fanatic the past few yrs...ironically.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Mar 26, 2012 10:50am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Serious question for musically inclined sorts...DEAD/nonDEAD

And also, many guys in the SF bands felt they didn't hold a candle to Cream either. Casady & Kaukonen of course said often how awed they were when Cream came through town; and Hendrix was also a big admirer. These were guys who knew about playing loud rock/blues jams, so I think their admiration means something.

There is a distinction to make, though - there are many testimonies as to what an awesome experience it was to see Cream live, being flattened by the volume etc - so I think it must have been more impressive to see them live, when it was new & loud & surprising, than to hear them today.
Also, as many Cream bootlegs prove, they played many shows that were better than the officially released shows. The live Cream albums are good examples of what they did, but not the best.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 27, 2012 3:14pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Serious question for musically inclined sorts...DEAD/nonDEAD

Ain't it the truth? That Oct 67 show is soooo good. Too bad it wasn't released...The first four tunes are just killer (ie, I prefer the NSU/SWine from that night over any others, not too mention ToBU, and the rest as we've discussed).

FWIW, the older brother (other's passed on) has had a chance to hear all the shows (via what I've sent along) and says that after all these yrs he wouldn't change a single glowing comment from 67 & 68 when he was so impressed. Again, he was very much involved in the "scence", having friends that played in smaller Bay Area bands, and they were v critical of all the SF groups (not unlike our reviewers above, perhaps), but never a bad word for CREAM. He has much more varied musical interests than I do, so I am impressed that it has remained so consistent--not just a case of "those were the days" (no pun intended).

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Poster: Dudley Dead Date: Mar 26, 2012 7:27am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Serious question for musically inclined sorts...DEAD/nonDEAD

I think we both have been involved in a similar thread a while back . I am not as big a fan as you, but I think Cream's live stuff has been underrated for years . Those faults/qualities are there , but man they don't GET IT ! Too bad for them .
I think Cream got blamed for being the instigators of the extended jam, thing in rock ,that most critics have little patience for , and anti-improv , became sort of an article of faith for the New Wave/Punk era .

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Mar 26, 2012 10:44am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Serious question for musically inclined sorts...DEAD/nonDEAD

It's interesting that you're a Cream-head at all - if I remember right, you're mainly into classical & jazz (as well as the Dead), so in theory you'd be the kind of listener who'd not be too impressed with Cream's loud jams.
Not that any of us can be pigeonholed into a genre, though. Probably key to anyone's getting into the Dead is the ability to like a variety of musical approaches.

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Poster: Dudley Dead Date: Mar 26, 2012 12:12pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Serious question for musically inclined sorts...DEAD/nonDEAD

Heh heh, I can like the heavy loud stuff ( a 68-69 Other One can get pretty damn intense, vulgar, and loud !) . When I was really getting into Rock in the early 70's , i liked the powerful , loud, bands like Cream, Hendrix, The Who ( think Live at Leeds ) , and I even loved Black Sabbath for "tuned lawnmower" sound . Later I liked some of the Punk stuff, to some extent ( love the Ramones ) . At the same time i liked the all the other great folks of the time that were not as noisy , Beatles, Moody Blues, Dylan,The Dead etc . As to Cream's loud jams, I grew up with them !
People like Zappa, King Crimson, and the like lead me to Classical , and Jazz took me a little later to get into, and The Dead would have been a prime influence that way . One of the things that makes Coltrane an easier step for someone who grew up on Cream, and Hendrix, is that Ginger Baker and Mitch Mitchell, both went to the Elvin Jones school of drumming !
Lets see, I like Blues, Country, Folk, Jazz, Rock n Roll, Classical, World Music, ... sounds like I might like the Grateful Dead ! I like the sophistication, and eloquence, of what they did with Bird Song, and the simple soulful gutbucket of a good Big Railroad Blues . Sometimes the Grateful Dead is like being at a strange banquet, where you are served, a series of dishes, all, different , that somehow go together . Like having, ribs, a Jack In the Box taco, some steamed vegetables, some fried chicken, a gourmet soup, sushi, corn-dogs, Thai food, well prepared fish , and mac and cheese ...

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Mar 26, 2012 12:14am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Serious question for musically inclined sorts...DEAD/nonDEAD

Actually, you CAN hear the concert that Landau reviewed - it's on the Brandeis University audience tape known as 9/10/67 (though actually misdated) -
http://gpatt.customer.netspace.net.au/cream/destruction_of_cream.htm

I can also see Landau's points; I just don't object to them like he did!
I think he didn't like live Dead either.

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Poster: Dudley Dead Date: Mar 26, 2012 7:58am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Serious question for musically inclined sorts...DEAD/nonDEAD

Thanks for the link to the reviews . The "Tale of Two Concerts" section was of particular interest, with the editor' 's counter arguments to Landau's original review . I think most of us here have heard lots of critical anti Dead comments form the "Rock Press". One of the problems I have found with Rock critics reviewing bands that have extended instrumental sections , is that most of these critics don't seem to have the "equipment" to review these bands . Most of these guys come from a journalist background, which is to say "words " . Their bias is going to be for more lyrics oriented artists , Like Dylan, Springsteen, etc. Words, they understand . There are plenty of times when an artist is "wanky", "pretentious", etc., but I am not sure these critics could tell the good from the bad with this music .
Also I think a guy who has to sit through 100s of concerts, is going to prefer a performance that is tight, and hopefully not too long , so he can go home and sleep, or watch television . Bands that go on and on (think those Grateful Dead 2nd sets ) is going to annoy this guy .
I am not "anti-critic", in the areas they know well, I respect, and have been turned on to some great music from the most insightful of them . But some instances, I think they are out of their water , when it comes to instrumental music .

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Poster: elbow1126 Date: Mar 24, 2012 9:15am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Serious question for musically inclined sorts...DEAD/nonDEAD

I have not listened to nearly as much live Cream and GD. In fact most of the live cream that i have heard was sent to me by you! Thanks. I think we may have discussed it then, but just in case. I did find the Cream jams to be intense but a little generic compared to the GD. What i mean by this is that once they started jamming, it all sounded kind of the same, regardless of where the jam came from. So if i picked up a track in the middle of the jam, it was unlikely that i would be able to tell you which song it was. In contrast, i have little trouble with the GD and i am not completely convinced it is because i have more experience with them. I think a TOO jam sounds different than a Dark Star jam which sounds different than a PITB jam. I am also not sure if comparing jams from a band over a 30 year or even a 10 year period to those over a 2-3 year period is fair. However if i stuck to the same time period, i could still tell the difference between Dark Star, TOO, Eleven Lovellight. Maybe the best example of this is 2-13-70 when the do the DS>TIFTOO>Lovelight sequence. Three jams, three distinct sounds. What i found surprising about this as a non-musician is that in the case of the GD it is something that could be true for any year they play those or other jam tunes. Maybe that itself shows some level of repetition as well or that their jams were simply more structured.